Jan. 28 2015 12:00 AM
Downtown Lansing’s new bar is hot. Literally hot — it’s in the low- to mid- 90s inside.

“It’s not even as hot as it could be,” said Patty Sutherland. “Hot yoga is normally (done) above 100 (degrees), so I actually call this ‘warming up to hot yoga.’”

Sutherland is co-owner of Firefly Hot Yoga Bar. And no, despite the name, this is not that kind of bar — it’s a yoga bar, where you do poses, not shots, to unwind. Sutherland, who also owns the 3-year-old East Lansing Hot Yoga in Trowbridge Plaza, has enjoyed the new location.

“It’s great being downtown — I’ve hardly ever hung out down here,” she said. “I’ve been getting to know the other store owners and this vibrant community. It’s actually made me start thinking of moving down here.”

The new location is above longstanding restaurant Weston’s Kewpee Sandwich Shoppe. Sutherland’s business partner, Abbey Weston, came up with the idea of turning the former storage space into a yoga studio in 2013.

“It’s gorgeous up here,” Sutherland said. “We have 18-inch-thick brick walls and our skylight looks up at the Boji Tower clock. It’s like a movie set.”

The 1,500-square-foot space needed extensive renovation, including the addition of a state-of-theart infrared radiant heating system, LED lighting and supports for nylon hammocks that will accommodate new aerial yoga classes.

Between the two locations, Sutherland oversees over 70 classes, ranging beginner to advanced, taught by about 20 instructors. The classes have creative names: Kick Your Asana, Happy Hour DJ’s Choice and Detox to Retox, just to name a few.

Sutherland said she and Weston have aspirations of franchising Firefly Hot Yoga Bar if it does well. And she doesn’t seem to be worried about that “if.”

“There are so many people downtown, and I think once they discover we’re here, this is going to be the hottest bar in town,” she said, figuratively this time. “It’s giving people an alternative to stress relief. Why have a cocktail when you can do an hour of yoga instead?”

Costume change
It many have an unwieldy new moniker, but the Costume Shop Managed by Riverwalk Theatre is actually a lot more user-friendly than its previous incarnation. Formerly situated on the top floor of Lansing Civic Players (now Brenner Heating and Cooling), Riverwalk moved the collection to an industrial building on Lansing’s east side earlier this month.

“Being on the ground floor makes it much more accessible to everyone,” said Marge Hetherington, chairwoman of Riverwalk’s costume committee. “And with regular hours again, we can return to our goal of being a community resource.”

Firefly Hot Yoga Bar 118 S. Washington Square (above Kewpee Sandwich Shoppe) Open daily; classes start as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 8 p.m. (517) 974-9642, fireflyhotyogabar.com

The Costume Shop Managed by Riverwalk Theatre 1131 May St., Lansing 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday & Thursday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday (517) 484-9199, rwtcostumeshop.com